Allen Craig drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the host New York Mets 5-4 to avoid a four-game series sweep this afternoon at Citi Field.
Craig’s two-run homer off Mets reliever Jon Rauch, which broke a 3-3 tie, came after the defending World Series champion Cardinals blew a pair of leads earlier in the game. New York pulled within one run in the eighth inning before Jason Motte got four outs for his ninth save.
Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee allowed three runs, one unearned, and struck out eight in seven innings. Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse allowed two hits and one run in six innings.
The loss dropped the Mets out of a three-way tie for first place in the National League East division. New York (31-24) is now 1/2 game behind the Miami Marlins (31-23) and Washington Nationals (30-22), both of whom are off today.
The Mets rallied twice before Craig’s home run put the Cardinals up permanently. Lucas Duda tied the game 1-1 with a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning; Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer with the Mets trailing 3-1 in the seventh.
New York outscored the Cardinals 19-1 in the first three games of the series, included an 8-0 victory on June 1, when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history.
-- Editor: Rob Gloster